The two photos of the Wardian cases were taken at The Philadelphia Flower Show where I have volunteered in the past. This year, show dates are March 5-13, 2016. I’ll be going as always and writing about it on Huffington Post.
The Wardian case was devised by Nathanial Ward in 1829. A physician by trade and a botanist, he noticed a fern that he was growing in a sealed jar was flourishing in polluted London. Years later, he displayed a fern at The Great Exhibition in London–the fern hadn’t been watered in 18 years.
Terrariums are low maintenance miniature indoor gardens inside a glass container. Creating your own little garden oasis is easy. Choose among a wide variety of succulents and cacti or use tropical plants with ferns and moss; both plant combos require different soil and different amounts of water. Cactus soil is used for succulents and regular potting soil is used for tropicals and ferns.
-Stick with mini plants that won’t outgrow the terrarium.
-Plants that prefer shade and that are tolerant of high humidity are best for terrariums. Think forests and woodlands.
-Use pea gravel and spread an inch or two at the bottom of a glass container.
-For beginners, start by using an inexpensive 10-gallon fish tank. The large opening allows easy access. Fishbowls will work well too.
-Consider an optional layer of Sphagnum moss or burlap to prevent the dirt from seeping through the pea gravel.
-Add two or more inches of cacti soil or potting soil (depending on which plants you choose).
-Ferns, moss, ivy, pathos and bromeliads all do exceptionally well in terrariums.
-Water or mist sparingly; the goal is to create a microclimate.
When I was at The New York Gift Show a couple of weeks ago, I came across a booth of hanging glass terrariums in all shapes and sizes by Chive, based in Brooklyn. If t’s your first time creating a terrarium, start small with this one to hang somewhere in your home. It’s affordable at under $9.00 and it also makes a great little gift. I love giving them as hostess gifts.
This post includes affiliate links, if you click through and make a purchase, I make a small commission.